Indian two thousand and five hundred rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Other Than Mallya, Nirav, 36 Businessmen Fled India In Recent Past

The Enforcement Directorate opposed the bail plea of Sushen Mohan Gupta, alleged defence agent arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers scam, saying there was a likelihood of him fleeing the country like 36 businessmen who had criminal cases against them.

The Enforcement Directorate told special judge Arvind Kumar that 36 businessmen, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, have fled from the country in the recent past.

The probe agency's special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta countered Sushen's claim that he had deep roots in the society, saying, "Mallya, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Sandesara brothers (Sterling Biotech Ltd. promoters) had deeper routes in the society yet they left the country. There are such 36 businessmen who fled from the country in the last few years."

During the argument, the Enforcement Directorate's advocate Samvedna Verma told the court that the probe was at a crucial stage and the agency was trying to find out who was "RG" referred in the diaries of Sushen.

Verma also accused Gupta of influencing the witnesses in the case and told the court that he also tried to destroy the evidence in the case.

Also read: U.K. Court Refuses To Delay $40-Million Diageo Case; Orders Mallya To Pay Legal Costs

The court reserved order on Gupta's bail application for April 20.

Gupta has sought the relief on the ground that the agency has already completed the investigation and filed a charge sheet in the case.

In his bail application, the accused told the court that the Enforcement Directorate’s contention of the flight risk can be rejected considering his past activities, where he joined the investigation as and when summoned.

Gupta was arrested by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Enforcement Directorate officials said Gupta’s role in the case came to light on the basis of disclosures made by Rajiv Saxena, who has turned approver in the case after he was deported from the U.A.E. and arrested by the agency in New Delhi.

It is suspected that Gupta has in his possession some payment details in the Rs 3,600-crore purchase deal of AgustaWestland VVIP choppers and the link is to be unraveled, they said.

Also read: No Relief For Nirav Modi In Taxman’s Painting Auction